Our next Attorney General needs to be a leader in protecting our land, air, and water. Over the last several years, our current Attorney General has undermined Colorado’s leadership in this area, seeking to undo the methane rule pioneered here in Colorado, providing bad legal advice to the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, threatening our state’s leadership in addressing climate change, and failing to protect our public lands.

We need and deserve an Attorney General who is committed to protecting our public health and environment for our children and grandchildren. I’m running to be Colorado’s next Attorney General to represent our next generation and take on this challenge. From talking to my kids, I know that they worry about the future of Colorado’s land, air, and water.  They expect today’s leaders to protect our natural resources and public health for future generations.

Colorado’s Leadership on Methane Emissions

In Colorado, we have our own way of doing things. We are innovative, collaborative, and we care deeply about our land, water, and air.  With regard to climate change, we are leaders in protecting our planet for future generations.  Guided by our Governor John Hickenlooper and the hard work from responsible leaders here in Colorado, we developed the framework that the Obama Administration adopted for regulating the methane emissions that come from oil and gas development.

Our current Attorney General is not one of these leaders. She has sided with former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and acted against Colorado’s interests.  First, she challenged the EPA methane rule after President Obama adopted it; more recently, when Scott Pruitt sought to scrap this federal framework, jeopardizing the quality of our land, air, and water, she refused to represent Colorado.  Consequently, our Governor had to hire private counsel to represent our State.  We deserve an Attorney General who will stand up to Scott Pruitt and protect our air quality.

Undermining Protections Against Unsafe Oil and Gas Development

In a recent case (Martinez v. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, often referred to as “the Martinez case”), the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission confronted the question of how to interpret the mandate that oil and gas development in Colorado should be “regulated subject to the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources.”  In the Martinez case, our Attorney General mistakenly instructed the Commission that it lacked the authority to consider the petition filed in this case.  The Court of Appeals told our Attorney General that she was wrong on the law and our Governor urged her to allow the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission to do its work under the proper legal standard that recognized that oil and gas development could be stopped when it harms the public health, safety, and environment.  Our Attorney General rejected that call, has doubled down on the AG’s office earlier bad legal advice, and has created legal confusion and delay by appealing the case to the Colorado Supreme Court.

We deserve an Attorney General who is committed to protecting the health and safety of our people.  It is wrong to place drilling for oil and gas above any and all public health, safety, and welfare considerations.  As Attorney General, I will provide proper legal advice to the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission and work collaboratively with localities on this important issue—not sue them as a political stunt, which is what our current Attorney General has done by suing Boulder County.

Supporting a Clean Energy Economy

In Colorado, we are national leaders in developing the foundation for a clean energy economy.  As such, when President Obama acted to enforce the Clean Air Act and to protect our way of life, Colorado embraced the goals of his “Clean Power Plan.” Similarly, with the United States as the only leading nation in the world to turn its back on the Paris Climate Accords, our Governor stepped up to make sure that Colorado could meet its goals.  But our Attorney General has not represented us on this issue; instead, she has joined with former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, first by challenging the Clean Power Plan after President Obama adopted it and then by supporting Scott Pruitt’s destructive actions when he acted to rescind the Clean Power Plan as EPA Administrator.

We in Colorado have long recognized that a changing climate threatens our Colorado way of life.  Climate change threatens to increase the length and severity of droughts, reduce crop yields, reduce snowpack, and increase the risk of wildfires and flooding.  Our skiing industry, for example, is vigilant on this issue and is working hard to ensure that we have skiing in Colorado for future generations.  To prepare for a clean energy future, we have taken action here in Colorado to reduce carbon pollution in ways that are right for us.  Most notably, we were the first state to pass a Renewable Energy Standard by popular vote in 2004, and we’ve since undertaken innovative policies like the Clean Air Clean Jobs Act of 2010.

In the early 2000s, a number of State Attorneys General called on the EPA to act to address the rising threat of climate change.  In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court ruled for those AGs, declaring that the EPA had a duty to regulate carbon emissions.  During the Obama administration, the EPA adopted the Clean Power Plan, which provides flexibility to the states to develop pollution-reduction strategies that work for them.  Because Colorado is a national leader in preparing for a clean energy economy, we were particularly well positioned to meet both the interim and final goals of the Clean Power Plan, and welcomed this step forward.

Despite our nation’s pressing need to reduce our carbon pollution and prevent the disastrous impacts of climate change, the EPA is moving to rescind the Clean Power Plan. But a number of State Attorneys General, including some from states who brought the landmark Massachusetts v. EPA case, are not going to give up without a fight. Our Attorney General, however, is not representing Colorado’s interest in moving toward a clean energy economy, failing to act, for example, when Scott Pruitt declared that he would undermine the existing fuel economy standards.  We deserve better.

Keeping Our Public Lands Public

In Colorado, we care deeply about our public lands, which provide natural beauty, a basis of our outdoor recreational economy, and protect local ecosystems.  Unfortunately, the United States’ Department of Interior is not committed to protecting public lands–and keeping them public. Consider, for example, the case of Bear’s Ears in Utah, where the Trump Administration is attempting to radically reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument. This action is a blow against our public lands, a violation of the Antiquities Act, and an act of disrespect against the Native American tribes who pushed for the designation. A number of State AGs are challenging this action in court, but Colorado’s AG has failed to do so.  Similarly, when the Interior Department has raised the prospect of developing part of the Great Sand Dunes National Park to oil and gas drilling, our AG has failed to stand up for Colorado. We need an AG who will protect and defend our public lands.

Representing Our Next Generation

The future of our air, land, and water should not be negotiable.  We have a moral commitment to our next generation to protect their health, safety, and welfare.  If we don’t act now to protect our natural resources, ensure that oil and gas drilling is safe, act to address climate change, and keep our public lands public, our children will not forgive us—and we should not forgive ourselves.  We cannot afford an Attorney General who joins Scott Pruitt to undermine important protections.  We deserve an Attorney General who works with leaders across our state to continue making progress in addressing climate change and protecting our land, air, and water.  Please join my campaign and spread the word about why we need an Attorney General who will do just that.